I'm really looking forward to the Irish Open this week not least because I haven't a clue who is going to win the darn thing !!!!
I have a soft spot for The Montgomerie Course having competed in the Irish Assistant Professionals Championship way back in 2006. (Top 15 finish incase you were wondering!!!). It is a tough inland links design where lines off tees will be important and being somewhat long will be a help. In 2006 Thomas Bjorn was 5 under par in winning that renewal albeit after a slip up from Darren Clarke ! Bjorn is arguably a better golfer in 2013 with form figures of 2nd,2nd,4th for his last three events and has a great chance this week. The top Irish players haven't exactly been pulling up any trees recently and considering the demands on their time this week there are easier players to fancy than Rory,GMac, and Padraig. Of the rest of the home crew I really like the chances of Damien McGrane. The Meath man forgot to enter the tournament so had to rely on a sponsors invite but with two top 15s in his last 2 starts and a win at the weekend in the Carne Pro Am he could be a dark horse this week. 20/1 to be top Irish player! It could be a big week for two French raiders. The powerful duo Victor Dubuisson and Romain Wattel are hunting their first wins on tour and will relish the conditions this week. Both are around 66/1 which represents great value in a wide open event. English players have traditionally gone well in Irish opens winning three of the last five including our own here in Adare in 2008. Ross Fisher finished 5th in 06 and has had a little resurgence in form recently trying his hand on the PGA Tour so he's my fancy. The weather is going to be decent which should lead to good scoring and hopefully massive crowds. Wouldn't it be great to have an Irishman in contention come Sunday ?? Incidentally the winner and runner up in that 2006 Assistants Championship are both playing this week that's Barrie Trainor and Mark Staunton. Limerick man Cian McNamara is also competing so be sure to give them all your full support.
If you're attending on Sunday don't forget to come see myself and Cillian at the Failte Ireland stand (23) and you could be in with a chance to win a Fourball at Ireland's No 1 parkland course. Enjoy the golf.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!